October 18, 2016 / 10:56 PM / 10 months ago

Italy top appeals court overturns jail sentence on Mediaset CEO

MILAN, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Italy's top appeals court has overturned a ruling sentencing Mediaset SpA Chief Executive Pier Silvio Berlusconi to 14 months in prison in a case revolving around alleged tax evasion, the company said on Tuesday.

The "Corte di Cassazione" also annulled the 14-month sentence handed down in the same case to Mediaset Chairman Fedele Confalonieri, Mediaset added.

In March, an appeals court slapped the jail sentences on the two executives over purported tax evasion at Mediaset's broadcast rights arm, Mediatrade.

Prosecutors had accused Mediatrade of having acquired film and television rights at inflated prices to pay lower taxes and then recouping some of the funds through foreign bank accounts.

Mediaset said at the time that the film rights had been accounted for in the relevant years and in line with tax laws and transparency criteria.

In a statement late on Tuesday, Mediaset expressed satisfaction over the ruling, noting that the two managers had been cleared of the allegations by a court of first instance before the appeals court made its ruling in March.

"With today's decision the original sentence is in effect confirmed by the Corte di Cassazione," Mediaset said.

Pier Silvio Berlusconi, a son of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is also deputy chairman at Mediaset. (Reporting by Emilio Parodi and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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